When couples contact Maui Aloha Weddings, they are so excited about coming to Hawaii to get married that they never really know about the place where they are getting married. To help plan their wedding, we usually ask them if they are staying on the west or south side of the island which are the two best beach areas of Maui and where most of our wedding couples will stay. Most of Maui’s resorts are in either the western or southern part of the island. Most couples really aren’t sure what part of the island they are staying on. Here is a bit of information about Maui so you will know your way around a bit more since it is an ideal destination wedding site.
Maui is the second largest island of the Hawaiian island chain. Although we are second, our population is much smaller than Oahu which gives you a very peaceful place to visit and to get married. Maui has two mountain ranges with Haleakala – our dormant volcano and the west Maui Mountains which is the remains of an even older volcano. Between the two ranges is our central area where Kahului and the airport are. The island actually has five regions – the western and southern shores, the central area, upcountry by Haleakala and east Maui which is better known as the famous road to Hana.
The western part of our island is where Lahaina, Kaanapali and Kapalua are located. It was once the capital of the islands and the royal families lived and visited Lahaina often when the state was still a kingdom, the only kingdom that became a part of the United States. Lahaina – also once known as Lele – translates most often to “cruel sun”. It is much hotter and drier than the eastern portions of the island. Lahaina during the 19th century was also known as a large whaling community. Now it is one of the tourist’s most popular destinations for great restaurants and shopping. Front Street also has a block long Banyan tree which houses many art shows all year long. It is also the site of many historical areas of our island. The beaches in Lahaina are nice but very populated so they are not used often for wedding ceremonies.
Kaanapali is where many of Maui’s resorts are located. The beaches are beautiful but are protected by the state and we are prohibited from having ceremonies on those beaches. Many couples are disappointed that they cannot get married on the beach by their resort. If you would like to have your ceremony on a beach near your resort it is best to look for accommodations in the south or further along from Lahaina by Napili Bay, Kapalua Bay or Ironwood Beach. This area also has some of the best golf courses and are used by the PGA for some of their winter tournaments.
The Central area of Maui is the most populated and has Maui’s county government offices there in Wailuku. It has the largest shopping areas and chain stores as well. One of the prettiest places in Maui is the Iao Valley which was once where the Hawaiian chiefs would go on retreat but is better known for the war in which Kamehameha began to unite the islands into a kingdom. It’s a wonderful place to visit and see the Iao Needle.
The southern part of the island is where the rest of our large resorts lie. We believe the most beautiful beaches are located in the south from Keawakapu to Makena Cove and beyond the beaches are wonderful. They also are less populated then the beaches on the west side which helps us to find you a wonderful ceremony spot. This area has the towns of Kihei, Wailea and Makena. There are also many well-known golf courses in this area as well. The weather is also very dry which makes it ideal for weddings and honeymoons! Both the western and southern sides offer night entertainment too.
Upcountry – the home of Haleakala – is where most of our farms and ranches are. Our Maui winery is there as well as our Vodka farm. The town of Paia offers many interesting shops and restaurants. Along the Hana Highway is also Ho’okipa which is the wind surfing capital of the world. You can watch these surfers any day of the year from an observer’s area. During the day you can usually see 10 to 20 Honus (green sea turtles) sunning themselves on the beach. This is really something to see! Upcountry also has the town of Makawao which is where the Paniolo’s (cowboys) were a part and still are of the Hawaiian culture. Here is where you can also see our botanical gardens and lavender farms. We do perform weddings on the beautiful Baldwin Beach located here but it is usually very crowded as it is a local favorite.
East Maui features the road to Hana and Hana Town. It’s a road that has 617 curves, 54 one lane bridges and is 34 miles long. It’s quite an adventure so they even sell “I survived the road to Hana” t shirts. The area contains beautiful beaches including a black sand beach, waterfalls and lush vegetation. It is a great place for both sightseers and hikers too.
Getting married in Maui combines a beautiful ceremony with a wonderful honeymoon. You can relax and enjoy our beaches or be adventurous and participate in the many sports the island offers. You picked a perfect place to celebrate your marriage and Maui Aloha Weddings would love to help you plan it!